Weather hindering new park

October 11, 2018

Work is progressing on a downtown North Platte mini-park near Sixth and Jeffers streets, City Administrator Jim Hawks said, though it’s anyone’s guess whether fall’s cold, rainy start will let city workers install landscaping before spring.

They’ve already finished shortening the concrete island in the parking lot at the street corner so cars can circle it. Blackledge Park, to be named for the late Telegraph Editor Keith Blackledge, will be between the parking lot and alley to the north and the Whitetail building to the south.

“We’re ready to tear into the alley” and replace its concrete with bricks, Hawks said Friday. “But the weather’s holding us up on that.”

The concrete work ought to be finished before winter sets in, he added, but progress on the park’s landscaping and water features will be difficult without extended drier, warmer weather. In July, Hawks expected the mini-park to be ready by next summer.

When finished, Blackledge Park will cap a downtown beautification project that began with the 2007 demolition of two deteriorating downtown buildings. The parking lot took the place of the Waltemath and Berg Typewriter buildings. Blackledge Park will stand on the original site of the Connection homeless shelter.

Blackledge was The Telegraph’s editor from 1967 to 1992 and wrote his weekly column until his death in 2010. The Wyoming native, who grew up in Scottsbluff, also was a reporter and editor for the paper from 1951 to 1959.

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